I didn't really know what Samurai Gunn was before today. It has one of those sort of cliché names that's easy to pass over if you don't have a particular reason to care. After playing it on the PAX show floor, I might not be able to stop thinking about it.
Samurai Gunn is a two-to-four player brawler that's stupidly easy to learn. The only moves in your arsenal are running, jumping, a melee attack, and fireballs to shoot. The objective is to place a well-timed one-hit kill on one of your several opponents before they can get to you. Easier said than done.
The relatively small battle arenas quickly and inevitably fill up with a flurry of players that are probably either on a kill streak or have just respawned. That's kind of par for the course with Samurai Gunn -- you feel like you're doing really well until someone swiftly and unceremoniously rips you off your pedestal.
For all the frantic pace, it never felt uncontrollable. Rather, the way in which you could quickly plot your attempt at your next victim was simply amazing. Realizing that another player's engaged with a different target, and you can easily get over there to dispose of one of both of them felt downright magical upon execution. That magic quickly fades when someone else had that same idea, but this time at your expense.
The rounds are kept short, as the first person to ten kills wins. That certainly doesn't take long at all. A showdown might be triggered between the two top-scoring players, which places them on a flat two-dimensional plane, left to jump toward and away from each other until one can finally land the coup de grâce. Showdowns are almost like chess matches in a way.
That's all there is to Samurai Gunn. Simple? Definitely -- that's the charm. But, that also comes packaged with an undeniable sense of giddy joy the entire time you play. It's easy to pick up, but difficult to put down. In fact, I think I'm going to go play it again right now.
Spelunky updates: PS TV support, replay fast-forwarding, Daily Challenge ghosts
7:00 PM on 11.10.2014